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The best things to see at the British Library’s Harry Potter exhibition

Ellie Walker-Arnott

Grab your Hogwarts trunk and go to King’s Cross. Then swerve Platform 9¾, make a right and head into the British Library, where the brand new exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic opens tomorrow. 

Even the most dedicated Potter fans have probably never taken JK Rowling’s wizarding world this seriously. To mark 20 years since ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ was released (yep, it has been that long and, yep, it makes us feel incredibly old) the British Library are taking a rather academic look at the magic in the story of The Boy Who Lived. 

Broomsticks, wands and crystal balls, centuries-old treasures – including Chinese Oracle bones, the oldest items in the British Library’s entire collection – will combine with original material from JK Rowling’s own archives. Weird and wonderful exhibits include her handwritten list of the teachers and subjects at Hogwarts, medieval manuscripts, talking flowerpots, an early written record of ‘abracadabra’, used as a charm to cure malaria, and a mermaid, allegedly caught in Japan during the eighteenth century. 

The exhibition is designed to be a celebration of the folklore and magic which inspired the Harry Potter series. We’ve already had a look around, and it’s seriously exciting stuff. Here’s what not to miss: 

British Library’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition runs from Fri Oct 20 2017 to Feb 28 2018. Find out more and book tickets here.

Feeling mega magical? Here’s our guide to Harry Potter in London, from walking tours and theatre tickets to the Warner Bros Studio Tour.  


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